Things to do in St Augustine

Things to do in  St Augustine

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Spanish colonial architecture and sandy beaches combine in St. Augustine, a historic city on the northeast coast of Florida. Often called the “Nation’s Oldest City,” St. Augustine charms with its cobblestone streets and historic landmarks such as a 17th-century stone fortress and scenic lighthouse. Beyond history, there are plenty of things to do in St. Augustine including bike rides, boat cruises, fishing excursions, ghost-themed tours, or lazy days of swimming and sunbathing on over 40 miles of beaches.

Top 15 attractions in St Augustine

Flagler College

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Though Flagler College was founded in 1968, some of the buildings that host its campus date back to 1888. It was previously a women’s college, then reorganized as a coed higher learning institution in 1971. Today, it’s a private liberal arts college offering primarily bachelor’s degrees, although it also has three master’s level degrees.More

St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum

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Located at the nation’s oldest port, the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum offers visitors a chance to step back in time by exploring the active lighthouse and various educational exhibits. The black-and-white striped, red-topped lighthouse, built in 1874, welcomes guests to climb up for sweeping views of the Florida coast.More

Oldest Store Museum

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Filled with more than 100,000 items reflecting the times of the early 20th century, the Oldest Store Museum reflects what you might have found in a typical general store at the turn of the century. A tour with in-character guides gives you an engaging look at authentic antique items with a fun explanation of local history.More

Castillo de San Marcos National Monument

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St. Augustine’s Castillo de San Marcos National Monument is the oldest masonry fort in the United States and the only intact 17th-century fort. Constructed by the Spanish in 1672 to protect their New World territories, it eventually passed to the British and Americans, and ended up playing a crucial role in the Civil and Spanish–American wars.More

Fountain of Youth

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Your quest for the Fountain of Youth is over once you’ve visited this park in St. Augustine, Florida. This site where Spanish explorer Ponce de León came in search of the elusive fountain in the 16th century, founding the oldest European settlement in the US. Sip the legendary waters while you learn about the area’s indigenous history.More

Lightner Museum

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Located in the former Alcazar Hotel in St. Augustine’s historic downtown, the Lightner Museum houses an eclectic collection of fine and decorative art, natural history and geological specimens, Victorian collectibles, and Americana. There’s also a robust schedule of special events, exhibitions, and educational programs.More

Medieval Torture Museum

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Test your mettle at St. Augustine's Medieval Torture Museum, the first museum of its kind in the United States. This trove of recreated torture instruments, enriched by academic research, demonstrates just how much suffering humanity infllicted during the Middle Ages. Uncover how these deadly objects were employed and why they were used.More

St. Augustine Old Jail

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Don’t let the friendly pink stucco exterior fool you. Although this building might look like an old-fashioned luxury resort, it was actually one of the most feared places in all of St. Augustine—the St. Johns County Jail. Built in 1891, the jail housed prisoners until 1953, when it opened to the public for tours.More

Mission Nombre de Dios

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It is believed that the Mission Nombre de Dios of St Augustine, Florida - the oldest city in the continental United States - may be the first mission established in America. The Franciscan mission dates back to 1587 when it served nearby villages and was a center of chiefdom in the area. Today it is a well-recognized spiritual site and a large part of the history of St. Augustine (its church is also recognized as the oldest in the United States.)A visit to the small, ivy-covered stone church is often a peaceful, spiritual refuge. A massive steel cross stands 208 feet tall beside wide walkways and manicured gardens. The shrine dedicated to ‘Our Lady of Le Leche’ dates back to the 1600s when it was built by Spanish settlers. There’s also a historic graveyard and Mission museum containing artifacts and documents found during the original excavation of the grounds. The entire site remains a pilgrimage site for many, and an important part of early U.S. history.More

Governor's House Cultural Center and Museum

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The historic Governor's House Cultural Center and Museum has played many roles in the state of Florida since being built more than 400 years ago. During the colonial period of the 16th century, it served as the official residence and offices of the Spanish governors of Florida. The mansion was then rebuilt in 1710 after being destroyed by British forces. British governors of East Florida ruled from the structure during the American Revolutionary War, often throwing lavish parties. In 1821, history was made here when the Spanish governor turned over the control of Florida to the United States.Once a part of the new nation, it served as a U.S. post office, courthouse, and customs building before opening as a museum in 1991. The structure itself holds centuries of history, though its exhibits go into further detail the significance of the house and the area. Many archaeological artifacts, including Spanish gold and Native American canoes, tell the stories of the multiculturalism that influenced Florida and St. Augustine as it is today.More

Potter's Wax Museum

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This iconic St. Augustine attraction is perfect for the whole family. With some 160 wax sculptures that run the gamut from actors and actresses to historical personalities, famous politicians and more, Potter’s is widely recognized as the first wax museum in America.Travelers who enter this wildly entertaining museum will learn the story of the wealthy George Potter, who ventured to Europe with his family, where he paid a visit to the original Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. Fast-forward to 1948, when this quirky institution was opened, and you have the short version of how Potter’s Wax Museum came to be. Visitors can wander the halls, check out top exhibits and marvel at how lifelike these figures truly are!More

Oldest Wooden School House

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St. Augustine is a city rich in American history and the Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse is the ideal place for travelers and families to take a step back in time. According to locals, this small structure made of wooden slats with an American flag waving high nearby is the oldest of its kind in the U.S. The building is made of aging bald cypress and red cedar and is chained to the ground to protect it from hurricanes.Visitors can take a self-guided tour of this unique attraction every day, and listen in as a robotic professor and student share historical information, stories and little known facts. In addition to the school house, travelers will see well-kept gardens, a traditional outhouse and an historic kitchen.More

St. Augustine History Museum

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An ideal stop for history fans, the St. Augustine History Museum features everything from replica ships and vintage toys to treasures discovered off the Florida coast. Find artifacts, photographs, and ephemera showcasing an ever-evolving St. Augustine, dating to the days of Spanish and British rule—all displayed in the museum's galleries.More

Spanish Military Hospital Museum

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The idyllic town of St. Augustine is an ideal destination for travelers who want to see history come to life. Few places showcase the past quite like the Spanish Military Hospital. Visitors can wander the halls and outdoor areas of this popular attraction, which includes the Hospital West building, the Apothecary and the Hospital East. Travelers will learn about medical practices from the Second Spanish Period. Visitors can follow an expert guide and learn about medicinal herbs in the well-kept garden, see a surgical demonstration and learn about ancient apothecary. This one-of-a-kind destination offers up the perfect way to experience the life of a local during the 1700s.More

Ripley's Believe It or Not! St. Augustine

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Situated fittingly beside the allegedly haunted Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! brings oddities, artifacts, and haunted history to St. Augustine. This museum is one of dozens of global Ripley’s-branded attractions, and this one offers haunted tours, a mini-golf course, and a Red Train Tour around the city.More

Trip ideas

Top activities in St Augustine

Sunset Cruise of St. Augustine
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Sunset Cruise of St. Augustine

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Take a Scenic Boat Ride in St. Augustine
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Guided Historical Tour of St. Augustine Per Person
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St. Augustine Ghost Tour: A Ghostly Encounter
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Private Historical Tour of St. Augustine
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Private Historical Tour of St. Augustine

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Dolphin and Wildlife Adventure of St. Augustine
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Wine Tasting Cruise in St. Augustine
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Private Guided Historic Electric Cart Tour of St. Augustine
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St. Augustine Porpoise Point & Old Downtown Tour
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All about St Augustine

When to visit

As a northern Florida city, St. Augustine can get relatively cold—but that shouldn’t deter you from visiting in winter. The annual Nights of Lights celebration (typically held from November–January) makes the Ancient City all the more magical, and the many confectionaries are ready to fill your cup with holiday spirit and hot cocoa. Of course, many people love visiting St. Augustine in the fall—there’s nothing quite like a ghost tour on a chilly Halloween night in this haunted city.

Getting around

You can’t spend five minutes in St. Augustine’s historic area without seeing (and hearing) the Old Town Trolley. This hop-on hop-off service stops at all of the city’s main attractions, including the Fountain of Youth north of St. George Street and the lighthouse across the bay. It’s worth the money to get a trolley pass so you can freely explore the area. Alternatively, St. George Street’s surroundings are very walkable, and rental vespas/slingshots are also available.

Traveler tips

St. Augustine is the oldest colonial city in the country—but don’t let history steal the spotlight. The city’s contemporary culture is thriving, particularly when it comes to food and drink. Beachside fish shacks across the Bridge of Lions and breweries surrounding the historic district are worth bellying up to. Budget travelers should note that there’s a single hostel in the heart of the historic hub, The Pirate Haus Inn, that’s worth surrendering your booty for.

Local Currency
US Dollar ($)
Time Zone
EST (UTC -5)
Country Code
+1
Language(s)
English
Attractions
29
Tours
146
Reviews
20,659
EN
8043a113-a164-44f3-82d4-61fd7560216b
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People Also Ask

What is St. Augustine famous for?

The most popular activities in St. Augustine revolve around the city’s history, culture, food, and ecology. Ghost tours are hallmark attractions, as is the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument. Sites such as the Old Jail Museum, Lightner Museum, and Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse Historic Museum & Gardens are also popular.

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How many days should I spend in St. Augustine?

Three days is enough time to discover St. Augustine’s best sites. Spend your first day taking a ghost tour and exploring historic attractions like the Lighthouse and Castillo de San Marcos National Monument. Spend the second day eating and shopping your way down St. George Street, and your final day at the beach.

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What is the famous street in St. Augustine called?

St. George Street is the most famous road in St. Augustine. It’s one of the most popular areas for tourists, thanks in part to the three blocks that are reserved for pedestrians. Once the city’s main thoroughfare, the shop and restaurant-lined St. George Street continues to draw crowds throughout the year.

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Is St. Augustine walkable?

Yes, St. Augustine is a walkable city. The Historic District includes the pedestrian thoroughfare St. George Street. Most sights, including Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth and the Lightner Museum, are accessible on foot. Most visitors park their cars and walk or use the paid trolley shuttles running through town.

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What activities are popular in St. Augustine?

Popular activities in St. Augustine include riding the trolley around the Historic District, learning about the city’s haunted history during a ghost tour, and browsing for gifts in St. George Street’s boutique shops. Across the Bridge of Lions, the beach, Lighthouse Museum, and zoological park are also popular visitor destinations.

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What is there to do in St. Augustine in the evening?

Ghost tours are among the most popular evening activities in St. Augustine. Haunted history tours, including walking tours, pub crawls, and trolley tours, provide an exciting yet educational experience. Sunset cruises, waterside dining, and the annual Night of Lights festival are also popular evening activities.

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